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MacRumors
Apr 9, 2013, 05:55 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/09/caldigit-thunderbolt-station-adds-to-growing-ranks-of-thunderbolt-docks/)


Storage maker CalDigit this week announced a new portable dock called the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station (http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/ThunderboltStation.html), adding to the growing collection of Thunderbolt docks introduced recently from Sonnet (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/03/sonnet-announces-thunderbolt-dock-with-internal-drive-bay-and-blu-ray-drive/), Belkin (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/14/belkin-finally-taking-pre-orders-for-thunderbolt-express-dock/) and Matrox (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/12/matrox-launches-ds1-thunderbolt-docking-station-for-249/).

CalDigit's entry costs $199 and provides users with USB 3.0, Audio In and Out jacks, Ethernet, and HDMI in a portable aluminum case.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/04/caldigit.jpg"As Macs are getting thinner, and more portable we need more ways to connect to multiple devices. The CalDigit ThunderboltTM Station gives professional users the ability to connect their ultra portable computers to a lot more devices via a single ThunderboltTM port", said Kosta Panagos Director of Marketing at CalDigit.CalDigit makes a number of high-end storage enclosures and expansion cards for audio and video professionals. The company says the Thunderbolt Station (http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/ThunderboltStation.html) will be "available soon".

Article Link: CalDigit Thunderbolt Station Adds to Growing Ranks of Thunderbolt Docks (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/09/caldigit-thunderbolt-station-adds-to-growing-ranks-of-thunderbolt-docks/)



onirocdarb
Apr 9, 2013, 05:57 PM
I love the comparison to the belkin dock

alksion
Apr 9, 2013, 06:07 PM
I love the comparison to the belkin dock

Yeah, I know. It's a little more stylish in my opinion, has HDMI out and is $100 cheaper! How much more could you ask for?

Btw, the is the first article published by MacRumors that I tipped off. Even though it's lame, I feel so cool lol.

jshbckr
Apr 9, 2013, 06:41 PM
Awesome, looks like a great way to enhance the Thunderbolt display (which currently lacks USB 3.0), and also add HDMI out in the process. And cheaper than other options, too.

snoozy355
Apr 9, 2013, 06:52 PM
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.

canucksfan88
Apr 9, 2013, 06:55 PM
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.

i am really hoping this is the case and i can finally power dual monitors. if this is the case, sign me up asap

TheRdungeon
Apr 9, 2013, 06:56 PM
i am really hoping this is the case and i can finally power dual monitors. if this is the case, sign me up asap

Came here to say this also, if this is the case i will definitely get one. It's what has been lacking in all the other ones

bluewooster
Apr 9, 2013, 07:13 PM
Why are all these hubs so expensive? (I don't mean this as a criticism as there may be a good reason - I'm simply curious)

sfwalter
Apr 9, 2013, 07:16 PM
Dumb question if you have a Mac with thunderbolt but only USB 2 can you get USB 3 speeds if you connect a USB3 device to one of these hubs?

dempson
Apr 9, 2013, 07:27 PM
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter.

So far every Thunderbolt dock I've seen mentioned is missing at least one feature I'd want.

Matrox's doesn't have Thunderbolt daisy chain or Firewire.

CalDigit's doesn't have Firewire.

Belkin's and Sonnet's don't have HDMI output. That's probably the feature of a dock I can most easily live without, as I only occasionally plug in an external display, and my future Retina MBP would have an HDMI port anyway.

----------

Dumb question if you have a Mac with thunderbolt but only USB 2 can you get USB 3 speeds if you connect a USB3 device to one of these hubs?

Yes, as long as the Thunderbolt bus speed isn't saturated by the combined usage of all connected peripherals.

The dock contains its own USB 3 controller, which is addressed by the host computer independently from the built-in USB 2 controller.

You would need to be running a new enough OS version which has the necessary USB 3 driver support. That definitely means Lion or later, since the first models with USB 3 ports were in June 2012 and came with OS X 10.7.4, and it wouldn't surprise me if Mountain Lion was required for stability reasons.

edoates
Apr 9, 2013, 07:28 PM
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.

I got the CalDigit PCI card for USB3 and eSata (to use with one of their Raid drive sets). Be nice if CalDigit offered a hub with FW800, eSata, USB3 as well as Thunderbolt ports for displays or TB drive arrays. Especially as MacPro seems to get delayed further each time there is a new MacRumor about it.

My investment in FW drives and now eSata drives is not easily undone, and I'll bet that USB3 is still not the best video editing choice, though I could be wrong. I edit ProRes 422 (1080p60) and I get glitches even with the CalDigit two drive Raid 0 array.

definitive
Apr 9, 2013, 07:52 PM
is this the only thing that thunderbolt is useful for - docks? i was looking forward to affordable drives, screens, and other devices popping up on the market, but instead we're getting flooded with ... docks

Snowshiro
Apr 9, 2013, 07:54 PM
Why are all these hubs so expensive? (I don't mean this as a criticism as there may be a good reason - I'm simply curious)

Certainly when the first docks were announced, there was a lot of discussion about Intel demanding very high licensing fees to 3rd party manufacturers who wanted to create thunderbolt peripherals. This seems like a pretty odd strategy if you're trying to drive adoption of a new standard, and I don't know if things have changed since then...

Actually I thought this one looked quite reasonable. It's the first hub I've seen that I'm actually half considering buying.

wonderspark
Apr 9, 2013, 07:57 PM
You would need to be running a new enough OS version which has the necessary USB 3 driver support. That definitely means Lion or later, since the first models with USB 3 ports were in June 2012 and came with OS X 10.7.4, and it wouldn't surprise me if Mountain Lion was required for stability reasons.
That's interesting to hear. I have USB 3.0 on my Mac Pro running Snow Leopard, thanks to a CalDigit eSATA (x2), USB3.0 (x2) 4-port PCI card. It came with a driver on disc, but I can't recall if that was for eSATA or USB3. Probably USB3.

Crimson Hikari
Apr 9, 2013, 08:03 PM
Oh please come out with this dock around pay-day. This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for since buying a Mac with Thunderbolt.

RoastingPig
Apr 9, 2013, 08:05 PM
what are these used for i don't understand you can get a thunderbolt to hdmi adapter and and u can get a usb 3.0 hub

snoozy355
Apr 9, 2013, 08:18 PM
what are these used for i don't understand you can get a thunderbolt to hdmi adapter and and u can get a usb 3.0 hub

Not all Macs have native USB3 :(

gatearray
Apr 9, 2013, 09:04 PM
hmmm... it doesn't say in the website, but I wonder if those audio in/out are combo analog / digital like on my old iMac, it's one thing that I personally miss on my MBA being an audio guy, but I imagine most people couldn't give a ****. :)

dempson
Apr 9, 2013, 09:10 PM
That's interesting to hear. I have USB 3.0 on my Mac Pro running Snow Leopard, thanks to a CalDigit eSATA (x2), USB3.0 (x2) 4-port PCI card. It came with a driver on disc, but I can't recall if that was for eSATA or USB3. Probably USB3.

Thanks for the correction. I thought there would be core OS features required for full USB 3 support, not something which could be added in drivers for earlier OS versions.

blesscheese
Apr 9, 2013, 09:20 PM
Ding ding ding...we have a winner!

Finally, after seeing all those high-priced docks coming out with either features I didn't need, or a lame/paltry assortment of features for a high price, this looks like something reasonable.

Unless something better comes out soon, I'm gonna get this.

theBB
Apr 9, 2013, 09:27 PM
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter.
You can buy this dock and use the Firewire adapter on one of its Thunderbolt ports. Considering nobody else is offering what you want, that seems to be a good option. I have the adapter, it is barely thicker than FW800 connector, so the combination won't take up much space or look ugly on your setup.

tbobmccoy
Apr 9, 2013, 09:37 PM
Ding ding ding...we have a winner!

Finally, after seeing all those high-priced docks coming out with either features I didn't need, or a lame/paltry assortment of features for a high price, this looks like something reasonable.

Unless something better comes out soon, I'm gonna get this.

+1 for me too.

My Mac mini 2011 really could thrive with usb3 speeds, especially for Plex serving. I know my speeds would increase dramatically!

defektion
Apr 9, 2013, 09:46 PM
Shut up and take my money.

neuropsychguy
Apr 9, 2013, 10:00 PM
My investment in FW drives and now eSata drives is not easily undone, and I'll bet that USB3 is still not the best video editing choice, though I could be wrong. I edit ProRes 422 (1080p60) and I get glitches even with the CalDigit two drive Raid 0 array.

It could be worth trying the new docking station with an eSATA to USB 3 adapter (e.g., http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=798839&Q=&is=REG&A=details). I don't know if a double adapter set-up like that will work but it could be worth a shot to connect to eSATA.

repoman27
Apr 9, 2013, 10:04 PM
Looks like what the doc ordered (although I would've settled for merely a TB -> USB3 hub).

Hoping we can use the HDMI and still use a Display Port plug/adaptor for 2x external monitors.

i am really hoping this is the case and i can finally power dual monitors. if this is the case, sign me up asap

Came here to say this also, if this is the case i will definitely get one. It's what has been lacking in all the other ones

This would be highly unlikely. We haven't seen Intel release a Thunderbolt controller with more than a single Thunderbolt to DisplayPort sink protocol adapter yet. This means that a Thunderbolt controller can only drive one display directly. However, you can buy DisplayPort to dual HDMI or DVI adapters for around $50 that should work fine as long as your displays aren't more than 1920x1200.

Why are all these hubs so expensive? (I don't mean this as a criticism as there may be a good reason - I'm simply curious)

10 Gbit/s per channel serial technology is seriously out there on the performance curve. Nothing even remotely that fast was available on a consumer device, or even available at all for less than 10x the price when Thunderbolt was introduced in 2011. The two port controller used in this dock costs the device manufacturer $30. The current reference designs for 2-port devices also require about a dozen other components, which despite being less expensive still add about $20 to the bill of materials. By the time you factor in reasonable markups for the various players in the distribution chain, it is very difficult to bring a 2-port Thunderbolt device to retail for much less than $200.

snoozy355
Apr 9, 2013, 10:07 PM
This would be highly unlikely. We haven't seen Intel release a Thunderbolt controller with more than a single Thunderbolt to DisplayPort sink protocol adapter yet. This means that a Thunderbolt controller can only drive one display directly. However, you can buy DisplayPort to dual HDMI or DVI adapters for around $50 that should work fine as long as your displays aren't more than 1920x1200.

My thoughts would be the device would have a graphics chip to drive the HDMI output, rather than being a demuxer for the displaylink signal.

RoastingPig
Apr 9, 2013, 10:08 PM
Not all Macs have native USB3 :(

that totally flew over my head i had gotten comfy with the ones in my imac that i forgot i used to agonize over having 2.0

smetvid
Apr 9, 2013, 10:23 PM
This dock makes perfect sense for me since I have a 2011 17" MBP with only a single TB port. I daisy chain video device and TB storage but the video device in the end of the chain only has a single TB port so I cannot also hook up a monitor. With this dock I can hook up all my devices and use a second monitor plus be able to use USB3 drives which was the one thing making me itch to upgrade my MBP. With this dock I can extend the life of my current laptop at least a couple of years and connect everything I want to connect.

Richdmoore
Apr 9, 2013, 11:19 PM
Same here, really want the USB 3.

I am concerned that the just connecting a display port monitor to the thunderbolt dock won't work. I believe
apple's own thunderbolt display required a second peripheral after the display before you could plug in a display port monitor. Since the dock works the same way, although to HDMI vs a actual screen, it may not work either.

Either way, these are "first world problems" if I can finally get USB 3 into my 2011 iMac. I do wish that is was cheaper (as I don't need ethernet/audio) but it is finally starting to get into an high but almost affordable range to add USB 3.

thbassplaya
Apr 9, 2013, 11:43 PM
This is pretty great! The only thing I could want different is instead of putting the only USB3 port on the front, throw it on the back to keep usb3 HDD plugged into it. Or just make them all usb3..

Elwe
Apr 10, 2013, 12:05 AM
This is pretty great! The only thing I could want different is instead of putting the only USB3 port on the front, throw it on the back to keep usb3 HDD plugged into it. Or just make them all usb3..

http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/ThunderboltStation.html

Unless the specs are wrong on their product page, they did make all three USB 3.0. Even with no additional ports (FW400/FW800, eSATA, VGA) this is probably the best Thunderbolt dock that is (about to be) on the market given the cost. If it turns out this works with simple, low-cost USB 2.0/3.0 adapters for the other ports, I hope they planned on making a lot. Otherwise, this is going to be "sold out" for quite some time.

TheRdungeon
Apr 10, 2013, 12:27 AM
This would be highly unlikely. We haven't seen Intel release a Thunderbolt controller with more than a single Thunderbolt to DisplayPort sink protocol adapter yet. This means that a Thunderbolt controller can only drive one display directly. However, you can buy DisplayPort to dual HDMI or DVI adapters for around $50 that should work fine as long as your displays aren't more than 1920x1200.



10 Gbit/s per channel serial technology is seriously out there on the performance curve. Nothing even remotely that fast was available on a consumer device, or even available at all for less than 10x the price when Thunderbolt was introduced in 2011. The two port controller used in this dock costs the device manufacturer $30. The current reference designs for 2-port devices also require about a dozen other components, which despite being less expensive still add about $20 to the bill of materials. By the time you factor in reasonable markups for the various players in the distribution chain, it is very difficult to bring a 2-port Thunderbolt device to retail for much less than $200.


Damn, those adaptors I could just plug straight into my mac though yeah? I take it those are the ones where it acts like one big long display?

repoman27
Apr 10, 2013, 12:35 AM
My thoughts would be the device would have a graphics chip to drive the HDMI output, rather than being a demuxer for the displaylink signal.

Well, Thunderbolt just transports DisplayPort and PCIe packets, nothing really gets muxed in the process. But since you bring up DisplayLink, it did occur to me that you could build a dock such as this using a USB 3.0 host controller and a DL-3000 series DisplayLink chip. This way the DisplayLink chip would drive the HDMI port and the Thunderbolt controller could still drive a display directly connected to one of the Thunderbolt ports. I'd be a bit surprised if that's the route CalDigit went here though, seeing as DisplayLink simply encodes the frame buffer and pipes it over USB 3.0, which results in some degree of lag and compression artifacts.

Same here, really want the USB 3.

I am concerned that the just connecting a display port monitor to the thunderbolt dock won't work. I believe
apple's own thunderbolt display required a second peripheral after the display before you could plug in a display port monitor. Since the dock works the same way, although to HDMI vs a actual screen, it may not work either.

Either way, these are "first world problems" if I can finally get USB 3 into my 2011 iMac. I do wish that is was cheaper (as I don't need ethernet/audio) but it is finally starting to get into an high but almost affordable range to add USB 3.

Connecting a DP display directly to one of the Thunderbolt ports on the dock should work just fine as long as you aren't simultaneously trying to drive a panel off of the dock's HDMI port, in which case you would need an additional 2-port Thunderbolt device after the dock and before the DP display.

Damn, those adaptors I could just plug straight into my mac though yeah? I take it those are the ones where it acts like one big long display?

Yep, precisely.

phoenixsan
Apr 10, 2013, 01:12 AM
more makers and brands in the Thunderbolt mix can help to down the current prices and push out the technology.

Not so sure about the upcoming new Thunderbolt from Intel (sometime in 2014)......:confused:


:):apple:

macs4nw
Apr 10, 2013, 02:44 AM
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter.
So far every Thunderbolt dock I've seen mentioned is missing at least one feature I'd want.
Matrox's doesn't have Thunderbolt daisy chain or Firewire.
CalDigit's doesn't have Firewire.
Belkin's and Sonnet's don't have HDMI output. That's probably the feature of a dock I can most easily live without, as I only occasionally plug in an external display, and my future Retina MBP would have an HDMI port anyway.....


Ding ding ding...we have a winner!
Finally, after seeing all those high-priced docks coming out with either features I didn't need, or a lame/paltry assortment of features for a high price, this looks like something reasonable.
Unless something better comes out soon, I'm gonna get this.

Hear, hear. For me, FW as well as one more TB port would have completed it, but everything else about this dock, including size and price, make this one a winner.

hmmm... it doesn't say in the website, but I wonder if those audio in/out are combo analog / digital like on my old iMac, it's one thing that I personally miss on my MBA.....:)

I was wondering about that too. Their website also doesn't mention if the required power adapter is included.
Still the best dock out there yet.

mjsanders5uk
Apr 10, 2013, 04:15 AM
This solves a massive problem for me.

I have a Aja T-TAP (to monitor video out of FCP X) but it doesn't have a TB loop out which means I could either use my external DVI monitor or the T-TAP. Prior to this the only option would have been to buy an Apple monitor. Now I can by one of these, use the T-TAP on the TB loop through and HDMI out to the monitor.

Yeay!

glenbogle
Apr 10, 2013, 04:27 AM
Anyone reckon we'll get a chance to buy this in the UK? Could sway me to pick up an Air rather than a rMBP when the time comes. Don't NEED the retina display, but like the extra ports. This would solve that and more.

thekev
Apr 10, 2013, 04:51 AM
Anyone reckon we'll get a chance to buy this in the UK? Could sway me to pick up an Air rather than a rMBP when the time comes. Don't NEED the retina display, but like the extra ports. This would solve that and more.

You would spend just as much in the end when you include the dock. The Air is a little lighter, but there's more to it than the stupid "retina" marketing garbage. The viewing angles and color reproduction are significantly better. Take a look at them side by side if you get the chance. Using an IPS display was a big jump in image quality, and it is noticeable when watching things like videos. I just wanted to mention the other stuff in case you hadn't considered it. I'm aware that the rmbp also receives complaints for issues that did not seem to come up with the Air.

d0vr
Apr 10, 2013, 05:00 AM
If this allows two monitors on a retina MBP and the HDMI out (for three monitors in total), this will be epic!!

glenbogle
Apr 10, 2013, 05:12 AM
You would spend just as much in the end when you include the dock. The Air is a little lighter, but there's more to it than the stupid "retina" marketing garbage. The viewing angles and color reproduction are significantly better. Take a look at them side by side if you get the chance. Using an IPS display was a big jump in image quality, and it is noticeable when watching things like videos. I just wanted to mention the other stuff in case you hadn't considered it. I'm aware that the rmbp also receives complaints for issues that did not seem to come up with the Air.

True, but I'd also get the extra USB ports and ethernet. The form factor is quite important to me, the reason I'm upgrading is because my 15" unibody is too big to carry around. The weight drop from the retina to the Air might be worth it.

tbh though it wouldn't even be a debate if there was a proper graphics chip in the 13" retina!

fhall1
Apr 10, 2013, 06:40 AM
OK...I'm not real up on TB technology. My current setup is a 2012 Mac Mini with one monitor connected via HDMI to DVI adapter, second monitor connected using mini-displayport (connected to Mac Mini TB port) to DVI adapter.

If I got this Dock, could I plug it into the Mini's TB port and still use my second monitor by using the mini-DP adapter plugged into one of the doc's TB ports?

paulrbeers
Apr 10, 2013, 07:08 AM
what are these used for i don't understand you can get a thunderbolt to hdmi adapter and and u can get a usb 3.0 hub

Then you don't understand the point of a docking station at all. The whole point is you have 1-2 cables that you hook to your laptop (or in the PC world it's usually a port under the laptop, but either way), and everything is hooked to that docking station. You don't have to unplug 100 different devices when you want to turn your laptop into a desktop. With this, I have two cables that I hook to my Macbook Air: Thunderbolt and Power. Off of the Dock, I can have multiple monitors (hopefully), multiple hard drives, keyboard, mouse, Speakers, Ethernet, etc. etc. all plugged into a high speed bus.

I'm now torn between this one and the Sonnettech one. I have already pre-ordered the Sonnettech one which I mostly wanted for the eSATA ports. However, I could use the USB3.0 to ESATA adapters I already use on my mini on this one....

theluggage
Apr 10, 2013, 07:10 AM
If I got this Dock, could I plug it into the Mini's TB port and still use my second monitor by using the mini-DP adapter plugged into one of the doc's TB ports?

Doubtful - for technical reasons discussed elsewhere in this thread re. Thunderbolt controllers only supporting one display per peripheral.

Maybe they've found a work-around, but if they had I expect they'd be trumpeting it a bit more, as it would be a USP over the other hubs.

However, in your case, you ought to be able to just buy a second HDMI-to-DVI converter and use that from the HDMI port in this dock.

PaulKemp
Apr 10, 2013, 07:11 AM
Solving a massive problem for me as well, with a 2011 iMac with just a 265 SSD and bootcamp.

But, how soon is soon? :)

theluggage
Apr 10, 2013, 07:38 AM
Well, I hope both this and the Sonnet dock materialise with features as promised. Between them they sound like two sensible options c.f. the Matrox (only 1x USB3, no TB daisychain port) and Belkin (vaporware) options.

Sonnet for the 'everything but the kitchen sink' option and this one for the minimalists (putting less connectivity than this would make it a USB3 adapter, not a dock).

Still some annoyances:

- no optical audio (so no audio passthrough to a surround system during movie playback - even dafter on the Sonnet which has bluray as a USP)

- Having a display connecter is good - even if it doesn't let you connect two displays separating the display from Thunderbolt could be useful for those of us with only one TB output - but why HDMI? Some of us actually use DisplayPort, you know, and a mini-DisplayPort connector would also drive HDMI, DVI or VGA using the appropriate adapter that you quite possibly haver already?

I think I'd go for the Sonnet - hopefully they'll wise up and add a BD/R option and/or a version with an empty optical bay for your own optical drive or a second 2.5" HDD.

rdlink
Apr 10, 2013, 08:01 AM
So disappointing. Every time I see a link to a story about a "new dock" then click on it only to find a hub I am sad. A dock is something that you can plug your laptop into, and have the peripherals automatically connect, and power automatically fed to it. It should hold the laptop as well.

repoman27
Apr 10, 2013, 08:42 AM
If this allows two monitors on a retina MBP and the HDMI out (for three monitors in total), this will be epic!!

That already works on the 15-inch MBPR. The 13-inch only has Intel HD 4000 graphics which can only drive 3 displays (the built-in one and up to two externally).

OK...I'm not real up on TB technology. My current setup is a 2012 Mac Mini with one monitor connected via HDMI to DVI adapter, second monitor connected using mini-displayport (connected to Mac Mini TB port) to DVI adapter.

If I got this Dock, could I plug it into the Mini's TB port and still use my second monitor by using the mini-DP adapter plugged into one of the doc's TB ports?

Yes, shouldn't be a problem.

Doubtful - for technical reasons discussed elsewhere in this thread re. Thunderbolt controllers only supporting one display per peripheral.

Maybe they've found a work-around, but if they had I expect they'd be trumpeting it a bit more, as it would be a USP over the other hubs.

However, in your case, you ought to be able to just buy a second HDMI-to-DVI converter and use that from the HDMI port in this dock.

fhall1 is using the HDMI port on the mini to drive one display, so the dock would be able to drive the other just fine off of one of its Thunderbolt ports.

To try to clarify the limitation, Thunderbolt devices that allow daisy chaining only have a single display output, so they can only drive one directly connected panel. The Apple Thunderbolt Display is itself a daisy chainable Thunderbolt device and the one panel it can drive is built in. Additionally, if you plug a conventional (non-Thunderbolt) display into a Thunderbolt port, it also ends the daisy chain.

So disappointing. Every time I see a link to a story about a "new dock" then click on it only to find a hub I am sad. A dock is something that you can plug your laptop into, and have the peripherals automatically connect, and power automatically fed to it. It should hold the laptop as well.

Why would you want it to hold the laptop? What if you're using the "dock" in conjunction with a Mac mini or iMac? I know connecting two cables is really difficult compared to just having to deal with one, but it does make for a much more flexible solution.

zhenya
Apr 10, 2013, 08:48 AM
So disappointing. Every time I see a link to a story about a "new dock" then click on it only to find a hub I am sad. A dock is something that you can plug your laptop into, and have the peripherals automatically connect, and power automatically fed to it. It should hold the laptop as well.

Apple doesn't license their MagSafe technology, so you won't be seeing an Apple dock with one connection.

Honestly, I've been using a USB3 dock with a Windows 8 tablet lately, and it's no worse than the Thinkpad docks I've been using for years. Sure, I have to make 2 connections instead of 1, but that takes no more time than using a docking station. The fact that it holds it is of little practical benefit in reality.

Nightarchaon
Apr 10, 2013, 09:06 AM
Getting there at last, i want a dock that is this style, and price, drop the audio and HDMI out, give me 3 USB3 at least, Thunderbolt through and a Couple of Firewire ports for good measure, and a Single 2.5inch internal drive bay so i can connect a laptop sized SSD drive to the box.

tommyminahan
Apr 10, 2013, 09:28 AM
This dock makes perfect sense for me since I have a 2011 17" MBP with only a single TB port. I daisy chain video device and TB storage but the video device in the end of the chain only has a single TB port so I cannot also hook up a monitor. With this dock I can hook up all my devices and use a second monitor plus be able to use USB3 drives which was the one thing making me itch to upgrade my MBP. With this dock I can extend the life of my current laptop at least a couple of years and connect everything I want to connect.


Actually, this dock only has ONE Thunderbolt port as well.

People seem to be missing the fact that the other TB port is used to make the initial connection.

neuropsychguy
Apr 10, 2013, 09:45 AM
Solving a massive problem for me as well, with a 2011 iMac with just a 265 SSD and bootcamp.

But, how soon is soon? :)

That's exactly my question. I have a MacBook Pro with a 500 GB HDD but it's not proving to be enough. I'm eyeing upgrading to a 1 TB drive but if I could just put my BootCamp drive externally, I might be good with the 500 GB drive. I could potentially even go to a 256 SSD instead and reap the huge speed increases.

repoman27
Apr 10, 2013, 10:07 AM
Actually, this dock only has ONE Thunderbolt port as well.

People seem to be missing the fact that the other TB port is used to make the initial connection.

Yeah, but last time I checked, ONE plus ONE equals TWO ones. People were complaining because the Matrox dock really does only have ONE Thunderbolt port, and thus it's a chain ender.

fhall1
Apr 10, 2013, 10:56 AM
That already works on the 15-inch MBPR. The 13-inch only has Intel HD 4000 graphics which can only drive 3 displays (the built-in one and up to two externally).


Yes, shouldn't be a problem.

fhall1 is using the HDMI port on the mini to drive one display, so the dock would be able to drive the other just fine off of one of its Thunderbolt ports.

To try to clarify the limitation, Thunderbolt devices that allow daisy chaining only have a single display output, so they can only drive one directly connected panel. The Apple Thunderbolt Display is itself a daisy chainable Thunderbolt device and the one panel it can drive is built in. Additionally, if you plug a conventional (non-Thunderbolt) display into a Thunderbolt port, it also ends the daisy chain.

That's what I was hoping...now I'll let someone else be the guinea pig when they actually try it with physical hardware. :)

coolspot18
Apr 10, 2013, 11:00 AM
This is starting to look more realistic... but why only 2 USB ports, and while your at it, where is the eSata port?

Either make a basic Thunderbolt to USB hub, or one with all the ports I'll need?

paulrbeers
Apr 10, 2013, 11:15 AM
So disappointing. Every time I see a link to a story about a "new dock" then click on it only to find a hub I am sad. A dock is something that you can plug your laptop into, and have the peripherals automatically connect, and power automatically fed to it. It should hold the laptop as well.

What you are missing is that those types of Docks are only good for a particular design. You know what that means? You end up like me with 3 docks sitting around your house from old laptops you no longer use. I have one for my old Lenovo T61, then my Lenovo M410 and now my HP 8460p. Everytime I upgrade, I have to buy a new dock. Using these docks, I can use them with my current 2011 Macbook Air, and then when I buy the 2013 rMBP I'll still be able to use it. Completely different laptops with completely different chassis, but guess what? I CAN STILL USE THE SAME DOCK.

rmwebs
Apr 10, 2013, 11:18 AM
bleh HDMI wont go down well if its anything like the shoddy one on the rMBP. Would have preferred an extra mini displayport for monitors only. The henge dock due out later this year still looks like the best option for rMBP owners.

----------

What you are missing is that those types of Docks are only good for a particular design. You know what that means? You end up like me with 3 docks sitting around your house from old laptops you no longer use. I have one for my old Lenovo T61, then my Lenovo M410 and now my HP 8460p. Everytime I upgrade, I have to buy a new dock. Using these docks, I can use them with my current 2011 Macbook Air, and then when I buy the 2013 rMBP I'll still be able to use it. Completely different laptops with completely different chassis, but guess what? I CAN STILL USE THE SAME DOCK.

It wouldnt be too difficult to come up with one for the mac laptop line though given the design/shape tends to stay the same for a good few revisions. The upright henge ones did this pretty well, hopefully they (or someone else) can eventually figure out a way of doing that with a horizontal dock.

In an ideal world there would be a 'docking standard' with a single thunderbolt port and a locking mechanism on the back to 'slot' into.

paulrbeers
Apr 10, 2013, 11:22 AM
It wouldnt be too difficult to come up with one for the mac laptop line though given the design/shape tends to stay the same for a good few revisions. The upright henge ones did this pretty well, hopefully they (or someone else) can eventually figure out a way of doing that with a horizontal dock.

In an ideal world there would be a 'docking standard' with a single thunderbolt port and a locking mechanism on the back to 'slot' into.

But you would still be locked into one chassis. You couldn't switch between Macbook Air and Macbook Pro like I am doing this summer could you?

rmwebs
Apr 10, 2013, 11:29 AM
But you would still be locked into one chassis. You couldn't switch between Macbook Air and Macbook Pro like I am doing this summer could you?

Probably not unfortunately.

(Before I start, I dont pretend to have a clue about what I'm talking about here so take it with a pinch of salt :p)

Theoretically, it would be possible to have a docking station adjustable in both the width (i.e to accommodate wider/narrower laptops) and depth (if that would even be needed. The biggest problem would be the thickness of the actual dock, where it attaches to the laptop as the Air is a lot thinner. If someone could work that part out, it (again theoretically) should be doable.

Taking the concept of the henge one, you could modify it to 'spring load' then provide the option to swap ports around (A bit like their vertical dock does) for different models, and maybe make each port height adjustable. It'd likely still take a genius to get this working across all models tho, but as long as you can get power + thunderbolt, thats all you'd really need access to.

smetvid
Apr 10, 2013, 11:30 AM
Actually, this dock only has ONE Thunderbolt port as well.

People seem to be missing the fact that the other TB port is used to make the initial connection.

That's the point. A lot of TB only have a single port which means no more daisy chaining. With this having two it can be part of the daisy chain which means a lot of potential TB devices.

Also with TB the monitor has to be the last item in the chain. If any other devices are an end chain device that means no option to use a second monitor. With this device having two TB ports I can continue to daisy chain and use HDMI for a second monitor. I no longer have to unhook TB devices based on if I want to use my video device or a second monitor.

As far as I am aware there is no such thing as a TB device with three ports. Kind of silly since you can daisy chain devices. The only use would be if you had more than one device with a single port like the FW800 adapter and another device that terminates the chain. Honestly with the addition of USB3 as well I may not even use TB for storage anymore since it is a total waste of money compared to USB3. I already have a Seagate TB drive dock however so I may just keep using it.

Val-kyrie
Apr 10, 2013, 02:19 PM
Yeah, I know. It's a little more stylish in my opinion, has HDMI out and is $100 cheaper! How much more could you ask for?

Actually, e-SATA and FW800 ports would be nice. I love the style of this, but I wish it included these other two ports.


Certainly when the first docks were announced, there was a lot of discussion about Intel demanding very high licensing fees to 3rd party manufacturers who wanted to create thunderbolt peripherals. This seems like a pretty odd strategy if you're trying to drive adoption of a new standard, and I don't know if things have changed since then...

Actually I thought this one looked quite reasonable. It's the first hub I've seen that I'm actually half considering buying.

This and the Sonnettech dock/hub look both appeal to me. I just wonder about the thermals for the Sonnettech, since it can house a hard drive and an optical drive in it.


You can buy this dock and use the Firewire adapter on one of its Thunderbolt ports. Considering nobody else is offering what you want, that seems to be a good option. I have the adapter, it is barely thicker than FW800 connector, so the combination won't take up much space or look ugly on your setup.

I thought of this too, and your solution works well unless someone also needs e-SATA. Then, well ..., but I still like it.


Hear, hear. For me, FW as well as one more TB port would have completed it, but everything else about this dock, including size and price, make this one a winner. I was wondering about that too. Their website also doesn't mention if the required power adapter is included.

Good question.

Still the best dock out there yet.

Yep.


http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/ThunderboltStation.html

Unless the specs are wrong on their product page, they did make all three USB 3.0. Even with no additional ports (FW400/FW800, eSATA, VGA) this is probably the best Thunderbolt dock that is (about to be) on the market given the cost. If it turns out this works with simple, low-cost USB 2.0/3.0 adapters for the other ports, I hope they planned on making a lot. Otherwise, this is going to be "sold out" for quite some time.

Let's hope they plan on making a lot of them.

theluggage
Apr 10, 2013, 03:55 PM
fhall1 is using the HDMI port on the mini to drive one display, so the dock would be able to drive the other just fine off of one of its Thunderbolt ports.


Sounds reasonable - but I'd want to see it confirmed in practice that merely having the HDMI port doesn't eat the available video signal. I'm wondering why Belkin dropped the HDMI port from their vapourhub and why Matrox dock has HDMI or DVI but no Thunderbolt out.

That's what I was hoping...now I'll let someone else be the guinea pig when they actually try it with physical hardware. :)

Wise. I'd be delighted to be wrong.

A dock is something that you can plug your laptop into, and have the peripherals automatically connect, and power automatically fed to it. It should hold the laptop as well.

I agree "dock" is not the best word for it, but I'm not sure the 'laptop docking station' is the best solution (I have used one in the past with a laptop PC). This sort of dock:

1. Works with any post-2011 MacBook (and maybe some PCs)
2. Works with Mac Mini or iMac (the Caldigit one might not make sense with an iMac or Mini, unless you really want extra ports, but the Sonnet one, with internal HD, optical drive, eSATA does).
3. Works with any desktop layout - At the desk, I usually work on an external keyboard & display, with my MacBook on an elevator stand - others use a vertical stand and keep the Macbook closed.
4. Moves most of the cables away from the desktop - you can tuck one of these at the back of the desk where the sun don't shine.
5. This and the similar Matrox 'dock' are highly portable (remember, these add some ports that your laptop doesn't have at all, so you might want to take them with you) - even the Sonnet is less bulky than 'your' style of dock.

This is starting to look more realistic... but why only 2 USB ports, and while your at it, where is the eSata port?

Either make a basic Thunderbolt to USB hub, or one with all the ports I'll need?

Look at the CalDigit website - the dock has 2xUSB3 on the back and one on the front (its possible that it uses another USB port internally for the sound).

There's a minimum 'entry fee' for building a Thunderbolt device so it makes sense to throw in more than just USB3 ports.

The Sonnet hub looks like it has 'the works'.

firedownunder
Apr 10, 2013, 03:56 PM
That's interesting to hear. I have USB 3.0 on my Mac Pro running Snow Leopard, thanks to a CalDigit eSATA (x2), USB3.0 (x2) 4-port PCI card. It came with a driver on disc, but I can't recall if that was for eSATA or USB3. Probably USB3.

I have the same card, driver on disc is indeed for usb3.

d0vr
Apr 10, 2013, 04:59 PM
That already works on the 15-inch MBPR. The 13-inch only has Intel HD 4000 graphics which can only drive 3 displays (the built-in one and up to two externally).

You're right, I should of clarrified further. I want three displays plus a spare TB port for more useful things.

tommyminahan
Apr 10, 2013, 06:44 PM
That's the point. A lot of TB only have a single port which means no more daisy chaining. With this having two it can be part of the daisy chain which means a lot of potential TB devices.

Also with TB the monitor has to be the last item in the chain. If any other devices are an end chain device that means no option to use a second monitor. With this device having two TB ports I can continue to daisy chain and use HDMI for a second monitor. I no longer have to unhook TB devices based on if I want to use my video device or a second monitor.

As far as I am aware there is no such thing as a TB device with three ports. Kind of silly since you can daisy chain devices. The only use would be if you had more than one device with a single port like the FW800 adapter and another device that terminates the chain. Honestly with the addition of USB3 as well I may not even use TB for storage anymore since it is a total waste of money compared to USB3. I already have a Seagate TB drive dock however so I may just keep using it.

From the first post- I thought you were referring to a TB display. I was thinking there is still no way for you to get both your display and video device if they both are terminators.
Yes that does make sense that you can use the HDMI for your monitor!

But to me, TB works just like FW. Its meant to be daisy-chained, but like you were saying, what happens when i have several devices that don't have TB-thru on them?

I know they make FW hubs that will turn one port into 3-4.. So why don't they do this with TB?

skippymac
Apr 10, 2013, 07:14 PM
Not owning a mac with thunderbolt, I haven't been closely following the whole thunderbolt dock thing. I've recently decided to buy a rMBP in the near/mid future so have been looking into it a bit.

Am I right in thinking that currently the only real way to get any sort of value out of thunderbolt is through a Thunderbolt Display?! Or is it conceivable that given a large amount of funds you could potentially buy a few bits of hardware to offer similar functionality to these prospective docks?

I find it amazing that over 2 years after thunderbolt was introduced you still can't make the most of it!

mdriftmeyer
Apr 10, 2013, 08:57 PM
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter.

So far every Thunderbolt dock I've seen mentioned is missing at least one feature I'd want.

Matrox's doesn't have Thunderbolt daisy chain or Firewire.

CalDigit's doesn't have Firewire.

Belkin's and Sonnet's don't have HDMI output. That's probably the feature of a dock I can most easily live without, as I only occasionally plug in an external display, and my future Retina MBP would have an HDMI port anyway.

----------



Yes, as long as the Thunderbolt bus speed isn't saturated by the combined usage of all connected peripherals.

The dock contains its own USB 3 controller, which is addressed by the host computer independently from the built-in USB 2 controller.

You would need to be running a new enough OS version which has the necessary USB 3 driver support. That definitely means Lion or later, since the first models with USB 3 ports were in June 2012 and came with OS X 10.7.4, and it wouldn't surprise me if Mountain Lion was required for stability reasons.

Cry me a river. The fact you're complaining about $199 tells me you don't value your FW resources all that much. Buy two of these hubs, run :

http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD464ZM/A/apple-thunderbolt-to-firewire-adaptor?fnode=51

Off of one and use the other hub for dedicated new solutions.

thbassplaya
Apr 10, 2013, 09:07 PM
http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/ThunderboltStation.html

Unless the specs are wrong on their product page, they did make all three USB 3.0. Even with no additional ports (FW400/FW800, eSATA, VGA) this is probably the best Thunderbolt dock that is (about to be) on the market given the cost. If it turns out this works with simple, low-cost USB 2.0/3.0 adapters for the other ports, I hope they planned on making a lot. Otherwise, this is going to be "sold out" for quite some time.

I stand corrected. I misinterpreted the copy of "USB 3 (1 front) as that is the only usb3.

snoozy355
Apr 10, 2013, 10:27 PM
Well, Thunderbolt just transports DisplayPort and PCIe packets, nothing really gets muxed in the process. But since you bring up DisplayLink, it did occur to me that you could build a dock such as this using a USB 3.0 host controller and a DL-3000 series DisplayLink chip. This way the DisplayLink chip would drive the HDMI port and the Thunderbolt controller could still drive a display directly connected to one of the Thunderbolt ports. I'd be a bit surprised if that's the route CalDigit went here though, seeing as DisplayLink simply encodes the frame buffer and pipes it over USB 3.0, which results in some degree of lag and compression artifacts.


Ok, I've gotten my terminology wrong - yes, meant DisplayPort, not DisplayLink (oops).

That said.. If CalDigit uses a GPU/PCIe to run the HDMI port then this means we can still connect a DisplayPort monitor/adaptor into the TB chain and run another monitor.

As for DisplayLink/USB3 - would rather the GPU option than using a USB3 solution to drive the external monitor :)

ellsworth
Apr 11, 2013, 01:06 AM
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter

I've felt the same way just up until I saw this dock and realized that you'll still have the FIREWIRE 800 port on your Macbook (PRO) or what ever machine you have that still uses FW 800. Like you, everything that's inside my laptop bag is Firewire 800 and I'm not just going to get rid of them all for TB/USB3.

As long as I still have the port located on my Macbook Pro, this Hub will do but I'll just wait until the price comes down before I grab one.

rdlink
Apr 11, 2013, 10:15 AM
What you are missing is that those types of Docks are only good for a particular design. You know what that means? You end up like me with 3 docks sitting around your house from old laptops you no longer use. I have one for my old Lenovo T61, then my Lenovo M410 and now my HP 8460p. Everytime I upgrade, I have to buy a new dock. Using these docks, I can use them with my current 2011 Macbook Air, and then when I buy the 2013 rMBP I'll still be able to use it. Completely different laptops with completely different chassis, but guess what? I CAN STILL USE THE SAME DOCK.

I get it. And that's fine for you. And possibly many others. I would prefer a more customized look and experience for my laptop. Even if it means that I would have to re-purchase a dock should I buy another laptop in a few years.

----------

Apple doesn't license their MagSafe technology, so you won't be seeing an Apple dock with one connection.

Honestly, I've been using a USB3 dock with a Windows 8 tablet lately, and it's no worse than the Thinkpad docks I've been using for years. Sure, I have to make 2 connections instead of 1, but that takes no more time than using a docking station. The fact that it holds it is of little practical benefit in reality.

Don't see why Apple would need to license the MagSafe for a usable dock. Their is no licensing required to pin out the power connections, and the magnetic portion of the connection would not be needed for a dock.

I understand that there are solutions out there that some are finding acceptable. My point was about my own wants and desires. I would prefer a more aesthetically pleasing, streamlined approach. And if I was going to go with the plug in two connections scenario I would just as soon have the Apple Thunderbolt display.

paulrbeers
Apr 11, 2013, 12:12 PM
Don't see why Apple would need to license the MagSafe for a usable dock. Their is no licensing required to pin out the power connections, and the magnetic portion of the connection would not be needed for a dock.
.

A little googling for your edification...

http://appleinsider.com/articles/10/09/21/apple_sues_hypermac_accessory_maker_over_magsafe_ipod_cables

http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/07/09/apple.targets.three.for.copying.magsafe.design/

http://www.macnn.com/articles/09/11/25/knockoffs.selling.for.almost.half.of.apples.price/

So basically, the magsafe connector was patented by Apple and creating any clone of it without licensing (which I am not sure Apple has licensed it to anyone) results in a lawsuit.

HurryKayne
Apr 11, 2013, 12:25 PM
HDMI IN?
If its true ITS MINE!!!!

P.s.
Can i dock my Xbox and see it on my iMAC?

auhagen
Apr 11, 2013, 12:28 PM
Hell I'd get one if it was only 3xusb3 and a esata port. Thats the only things I miss in my iMac 2011...

----------

HDMI IN?
If its true ITS MINE!!!!

Not HDMI-in just HDMI port in a portable aluminum case....

HurryKayne
Apr 11, 2013, 12:57 PM
Hell I'd get one if it was only 3xusb3 and a esata port. Thats the only things I miss in my iMac 2011...

----------



Not HDMI-in just HDMI port in a portable aluminum case....

MMM..too beauty to be true...next.
ps.
I will find peace with the U.HDTV 4k i talk'd in another post here,
its the first i know under the 1500$/€..^^
i hope for a low input lag

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=17111558#post17111558

rdlink
Apr 11, 2013, 02:15 PM
A little googling for your edification...

http://appleinsider.com/articles/10/09/21/apple_sues_hypermac_accessory_maker_over_magsafe_ipod_cables

http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/07/09/apple.targets.three.for.copying.magsafe.design/

http://www.macnn.com/articles/09/11/25/knockoffs.selling.for.almost.half.of.apples.price/

So basically, the magsafe connector was patented by Apple and creating any clone of it without licensing (which I am not sure Apple has licensed it to anyone) results in a lawsuit.

I get it. I know that Apple has voraciously defended their patent on the magsafe power cord, as they should, since it's a pretty cool design, and one that nobody thought of first. But again, there is no patent on pinning out a power connection. Someone could design a dock that provided power to a MacBook via a male connection without using a magnetic connector. Essentially all that would have to happen is that the MB slid in against the power supply. No magsafe or Apple brick needed.

carestudio
Apr 11, 2013, 05:05 PM
HDMI IN?
If its true ITS MINE!!!!

P.s.
Can i dock my Xbox and see it on my iMAC?

How? you wanna see the Xbox' hard drive? or something else?

russellfko
Apr 11, 2013, 07:39 PM
looks very neat. Does this station work with USB 3.0 hub?

dtremit
Apr 11, 2013, 10:08 PM
I get it. I know that Apple has voraciously defended their patent on the magsafe power cord, as they should, since it's a pretty cool design, and one that nobody thought of first. But again, there is no patent on pinning out a power connection. Someone could design a dock that provided power to a MacBook via a male connection without using a magnetic connector. Essentially all that would have to happen is that the MB slid in against the power supply. No magsafe or Apple brick needed.

The MagSafe plug isn't just pins and a magnet -- there's actually a small chip onboard. It controls the LED at least, but may be required for charging -- e.g., the auto/airline adapter won't charge the laptop even if the desktop charger voltage is applied to it.

HurryKayne
Apr 12, 2013, 04:40 AM
How? you wanna see the Xbox' hard drive? or something else?

I wanna use my IMac Display to play my Xbox Games...but this is not allowed by Apple...

repoman27
Apr 12, 2013, 07:33 AM
Sounds reasonable - but I'd want to see it confirmed in practice that merely having the HDMI port doesn't eat the available video signal. I'm wondering why Belkin dropped the HDMI port from their vapourhub and why Matrox dock has HDMI or DVI but no Thunderbolt out.

Well, Belkin probably realized that they could save a couple bucks if they ever decide to produce their dock, and besides, they'd be glad to sell you one of their swanky little mini DP to HDMI adapters for an additional $34.99. 2-port Thunderbolt devices typically carry a $100 retail premium over single port devices due to the increased BOM cost and complexity, which is pretty clearly why Matrox did what they did. A lot of this has to do with the 10 chips it takes to convert the single DisplayPort output to DP++, split it, and then feed it back into the Thunderbolt controller just in case anyone happens to plug a display into one of the ports.

Here's a photo of the board from a LaCie Thunderbolt Little Big Disk from a teardown (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1233086) performed by ender21:
http://ender21.smugmug.com/Home/TechGoodies/i-LLpMhzB/0/M/IMG0222-M.jpg

The Thunderbolt controller is the big one under the thermal pad, the Marvell SATA controller is over on the left hand side of the board, and then the 10 other prominent chips are all just to deal with DisplayPort output.

...If CalDigit uses a GPU/PCIe to run the HDMI port then this means we can still connect a DisplayPort monitor/adaptor into the TB chain and run another monitor.

As for DisplayLink/USB3 - would rather the GPU option than using a USB3 solution to drive the external monitor :)

Unfortunately, I can guarantee you that there is no discrete GPU in that dock.

I get it. I know that Apple has voraciously defended their patent on the magsafe power cord, as they should, since it's a pretty cool design, and one that nobody thought of first. But again, there is no patent on pinning out a power connection. Someone could design a dock that provided power to a MacBook via a male connection without using a magnetic connector. Essentially all that would have to happen is that the MB slid in against the power supply. No magsafe or Apple brick needed.

The center pin of a MagSafe connector transmits data before allowing charging to happen, and every power adapter has a serialized EPROM in it. This is Apple we're talking about... You didn't really think they'd make it that easy did you?

kd5jos
Apr 12, 2013, 07:35 AM
So disappointing. Every time I see a link to a story about a "new dock" then click on it only to find a hub I am sad. A dock is something that you can plug your laptop into, and have the peripherals automatically connect, and power automatically fed to it. It should hold the laptop as well.

No, this is a dock. A Hub is a passive device. There are hubs that have some power applied so that they can act as repeaters too, but these would still be considered "passive." This is NOT passive. This has a media converter (Thunderbolt to ethernet). It has an onboard bus for the individual ports to connect. It HAS to have a bus for the USB ports. So honestly, it's your understanding of the equipment that is flawed, not the designator used to identify it.

rdlink
Apr 12, 2013, 12:51 PM
No, this is a dock. A Hub is a passive device. There are hubs that have some power applied so that they can act as repeaters too, but these would still be considered "passive." This is NOT passive. This has a media converter (Thunderbolt to ethernet). It has an onboard bus for the individual ports to connect. It HAS to have a bus for the USB ports. So honestly, it's your understanding of the equipment that is flawed, not the designator used to identify it.

No, I am correct. If it were a dock, you would "dock" your computer to it. Instead, it plugs into the computer. It's a plug-in hub. Sorry.

russellfko
Apr 12, 2013, 01:16 PM
Hub should have the same interface for both in and out. For example, USB hub. If you mix different interfaces, it should call something else. Probably not a "dock". thunderbolt is just a very odd technology that allows you use different interfaces through it. An "expansion dock" might work better.
Some good pictures shot from the show by some one. Is it a dock or hub? or switch? expansion? station? who cares! no one would say NO to such multiport thunderbolt station.
http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/caldigit-thunderbolt-station.htm
good shots.

theluggage
Apr 12, 2013, 03:42 PM
No, I am correct. If it were a dock, you would "dock" your computer to it.

No, you are BOTH wrong.

What we have here - as anybody who remembers the Good Old Days should know is an Expansion Interface.

Like this (http://www.trs-80.org/radio-shack-expansion-interface/)

Or this. (http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/19092/Video-Genie-System-Expander-EG3014/)

Or maybe this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Interface_1) or this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Interface_2) - but they do look a bit like docks.


Kids today. GET ORF MY LAWN!

Silencio
Apr 12, 2013, 04:35 PM
No, you are BOTH wrong.

What we have here - as anybody who remembers the Good Old Days should know is an Expansion Interface.

Like this (http://www.trs-80.org/radio-shack-expansion-interface/)


Ha! That was part of my very first computer. With the extra 16K and a floppy disk drive, I was really the boss for a while there. :o

carestudio
Apr 12, 2013, 06:49 PM
http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/ThunderboltStation.html

Unless the specs are wrong on their product page, they did make all three USB 3.0. Even with no additional ports (FW400/FW800, eSATA, VGA) this is probably the best Thunderbolt dock that is (about to be) on the market given the cost. If it turns out this works with simple, low-cost USB 2.0/3.0 adapters for the other ports, I hope they planned on making a lot. Otherwise, this is going to be "sold out" for quite some time.

Agree. The price is low enough and to add a FireWire port, one can simply get the Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter downstream from this caldigit thunderbolt station. 29 dollars only.

http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/caldigit-thunderbolt-station.htm

it shows two thunderbolt ports, so must be capable to do daisy chain.

DrStern
Apr 16, 2013, 12:03 PM
I have a ultrawide fast scsi RAID tower that needs a SCSI port. Unfortunately, I'm told there is no way to make a Thunderbolt expansion box that can hold an expansion card that would allow me to use this device with my Macbook Pro Retina. Too bad.

Imac Sam
Apr 16, 2013, 04:59 PM
I just want a Thunderbolt to USB3 Adapter.:( I would be happy with that!

carestudio
Apr 16, 2013, 08:00 PM
I have a ultrawide fast scsi RAID tower that needs a SCSI port. Unfortunately, I'm told there is no way to make a Thunderbolt expansion box that can hold an expansion card that would allow me to use this device with my Macbook Pro Retina. Too bad.

you need the thunderbolt exp box like this
http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/expansion/

russellfko
Apr 18, 2013, 12:42 AM
I just want a Thunderbolt to USB3 Adapter.:( I would be happy with that!

me too. Nice to have gigabit network for my air too!

chelidon
Apr 18, 2013, 12:48 PM
Add me to the list of those impatiently waiting for this to get released.

I've got a current-gen 13" MBA and an older 30" Apple Cinema Display, with a Thunderbolt to dual-link DVI converter, which works fine, except that precludes the use of my Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter at the same time (I've got a GigE backbone, and WiFi is just too slow for transfer to the GigE NAS devices, among other things). Since this dock has GigE built-in, that would solve my problem nicely.

Does anyone know how the MBA internally handles traffic between the built-in USB3 controller and Thunderbolt? I'm guessing the best bet might be to keep existing USB3 drives where they are now -- off a USB3 hub from one of the built-in USB3 ports, and avoid using the USB3 ports on the dock. Maybe I'm not giving enough credit to the real-world performance of Thunderbolt, but I'm leery of saturation when driving the 30" display at 2560x1600, plus GigE, plus several fast USB3 drives -- seems better to keep data paths separate if possible. I'll probably run some tests and see how it looks either way.

carestudio
Apr 18, 2013, 02:47 PM
Add me to the list of those impatiently waiting for this to get released.

I've got a current-gen 13" MBA and an older 30" Apple Cinema Display, with a Thunderbolt to dual-link DVI converter, which works fine, except that precludes the use of my Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter at the same time (I've got a GigE backbone, and WiFi is just too slow for transfer to the GigE NAS devices, among other things). Since this dock has GigE built-in, that would solve my problem nicely.

Does anyone know how the MBA internally handles traffic between the built-in USB3 controller and Thunderbolt? I'm guessing the best bet might be to keep existing USB3 drives where they are now -- off a USB3 hub from one of the built-in USB3 ports, and avoid using the USB3 ports on the dock. Maybe I'm not giving enough credit to the real-world performance of Thunderbolt, but I'm leery of saturation when driving the 30" display at 2560x1600, plus GigE, plus several fast USB3 drives -- seems better to keep data paths separate if possible. I'll probably run some tests and see how it looks either way.
so the guy from the show saying the usb 3 can do 400MB per second, http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/caldigit/thunderbolt-station/index.asp?C=1
which I think it's only less half of what Thunderbolt can do thus adding gigabit ethernet should take no effects.

paulrbeers
Apr 18, 2013, 02:57 PM
Maybe I'm not giving enough credit to the real-world performance of Thunderbolt, but I'm leery of saturation when driving the 30" display at 2560x1600, plus GigE, plus several fast USB3 drives -- seems better to keep data paths separate if possible. I'll probably run some tests and see how it looks either way.

You aren't giving enough credit. With 10gb/s worth of bandwidth, the USB 3.0 would only use half even if maxed. Even maxing the gb ethernet you are only at 6gb/s out of 10. Further, the video is a separate signal altogether that is muxed in with the data streams. Therefore, using any display with Thunderbolt would have no affect on your data streams. Your best bet is to put everything on the hub and forget about it.

Supp0rtLinux
Apr 18, 2013, 03:09 PM
Image (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/09/caldigit-thunderbolt-station-adds-to-growing-ranks-of-thunderbolt-docks/)

Storage maker CalDigit this week announced a new portable dock called the CalDigit Thunderbolt Station (http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/ThunderboltStation.html), adding to the growing collection of Thunderbolt docks introduced recently from Sonnet (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/03/sonnet-announces-thunderbolt-dock-with-internal-drive-bay-and-blu-ray-drive/), Belkin (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/14/belkin-finally-taking-pre-orders-for-thunderbolt-express-dock/) and Matrox (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/12/12/matrox-launches-ds1-thunderbolt-docking-station-for-249/).

CalDigit's entry costs $199 and provides users with USB 3.0, Audio In and Out jacks, Ethernet, and HDMI in a portable aluminum case.

Image (http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/04/caldigit.jpg)CalDigit makes a number of high-end storage enclosures and expansion cards for audio and video professionals. The company says the Thunderbolt Station (http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation/ThunderboltStation.html) will be "available soon".

Article Link: CalDigit Thunderbolt Station Adds to Growing Ranks of Thunderbolt Docks (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/09/caldigit-thunderbolt-station-adds-to-growing-ranks-of-thunderbolt-docks/)

I was hugely intrigued by this as it appeared to be the first of the many thunderbolt docks that could do dual video out… via one of the two thunderbolt ports, the other over HDMI. Unfortunately, it does not unless one of the display is a native thunderbolt display (ie: an Apple display). If you have two DVI or HDMI monitors hooked up, you'll only get a display on the HDMI one according to the CalDigit rep. I reached out the vendor for a demo unit when available and this was the exchange:

Okay, thanks for the explanation. We would still be very interested in a demo unit when one is available. My shipping address is in my original email.

Thanks,
-----
<redacted>
Linux/UNIX Systems Administrator
Office: <redacted>
Mobile: <redacted>

On Apr 17, 2013, at 3:45 PM, <redacted> <<redacted>@caldigit.com>
wrote:

You can use a HDMI or DVI monitor using a thunderbolt adaptor but you won't be able to use an HDMI monitor via the HDMI port on the Thunderbolt Station. It would have to be one or the other. Only a Thunderbolt display would let you use both at the same time.

Best Regards,
<redacted>
CalDigit Inc. | Business Development
Phone: <redacted>
Fax: <redacted>
Skype: <redacted>
Email: <redacted>@caldigit.com

www.caldigit.com


On Apr 17, 2013, at 12:34 PM, <redacted> wrote:

Thank you for your reply. So to be clear, I can run a standard monitor off the HDMI port (and even using an HDMI to DVI or HDMI to VGA adaptor). However, for the thunderbolt port, it must be a thunderbolt equipped monitor (such as an Apple display). I cannot plug a mini-display port to DVI adaptor into it and get video through this as well? In other words, I can't use a HDMI or DVI monitor off the thunderbolt port, correct?
-----
<redacted>
Linux/UNIX Systems Administrator
Office: <redacted>
Mobile: <redacted>

On Apr 17, 2013, at 3:27 PM, <redacted> <<redacted>@caldigit.com<mailto:<redacted>@caldigit.com>> wrote:

Hi <redacted>,

The Thunderbolt Stations are currently not available, we are working on rolling them out as soon as possible. I will make sure to contact you when we have them available. Also, the dual monitor output only works if one of the monitors are a Thunderbolt monitor, not a monitor using a mini display port. If you connect a monitor using a mini display port and a HDMI monitor, only the HDMI monitor will receive the output signal. We are currently testing the hub and will publish more specific details when it becomes available.

Best Regards,
<redacted>
CalDigit Inc. | Business Development
Phone: <redacted>
Fax: <redacted>
Skype: <redacted>
Email: <redacted>@caldigit.com<mailto:<redacted>@caldigit.com>

www.caldigit.com<http://www.caldigit.com/>

On Apr 17, 2013, at 6:45 AM, <redacted> wrote:

I'm a senior member of the IT staff at <redacted> in <redacted>, NC. I am one of the team members responsible for demoing equipment that may eventually be rolled out to our IT staff (over 400 employees) and/or the <redacted> at large (over 15K employees). Specifically, as one of the senior UNIX admins, I test much of the Mac-based equipment we are interested in rolling out to our <redacted> staff. We have well over 500 MacBook Pros that are all the generation immediately prior to the retina MBP. Each has only a single thunderbolt port and no USB 3.0 support. However, most need to drive two monitors as separate displays (not a single, spanned widescreen display) and would benefit from USB 3. Your dock appears to be the only one on the market (or soon to be) that can give us dual video out (via one of the two thunderbolt ports and the HDMI port) to separate displays. I'm curious if its possible for us to get a demo unit to test out for 30-60 days?

Thanks,
-----
<redacted>
Linux/UNIX Systems Administrator
<redacted>
Office: <redacted>
Mobile: <redacted>
Mail: <redacted>
<redacted>

Basically, this means there are still no thunderbolt based docks that do dual video out. Only the USB 3 dock from Kensington appears to… of course that doesn't do you much good if you have an older MBP or other Mac that has a single thunderbolt port, but no USB3. :(

What gets me is that the bandwidth for thunderbolt is better than that of USB 3. So why is it that every thunderbolt dock available only does a single display out but the USB 3 dock from Kensington can do dual?

fortysomegeek
Apr 18, 2013, 03:56 PM
Basically, this means there are still no thunderbolt based docks that do dual video out. Only the USB 3 dock from Kensington appears to… of course that doesn't do you much good if you have an older MBP or other Mac that has a single thunderbolt port, but no USB3. :(


http://www.kensington.com/kensington/us/us/p/2915/K33972US/usb-3-0-docking-station-with-dual-dvi-hdmi-vga-video-(sd3500v).aspx
This dock uses DisplayLink chipset.

1) It only supports resolution up 2048x1152
2) It is going to be laggy.
3) Repeat, It is going to be laggy.
It used Displaylink which is basically a low end USB graphics card that can barely play 720p video. Playing 1080p will take up 40-60% of your CPU.
Moving windows, apps around will stutter.
4) The drivers for the ethernet is buggy and Alpha.


Thunderbolt uses the native GPU output. So whatever capabilities your GPU has, it will simply output it.
You can go up to 2560x1600.

I have several of these "displaylink" dongles and I want to get away from it.
In fact, if you want to replicate the Kensington dock, you can buy a 4-7 port USB 3.0 hub and buy individual displaylink and usb 3 gigabit for less than $100.

So if more monitors is a big deal, buy a $40 USB 3.0 HDMI Displaylink dongle. It may even haver a newer revision DL-3XXX chipset than the Kensington.
Here is one on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Uspeed-Multiple-2048x1152-1920x1200-DisplayLink/dp/B007KI8IMW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366318476&sr=8-1&keywords=anker+USB+3.0+hdmi

You plug this into any of the newish Thunderbolt's dock as well.

russellfko
Apr 18, 2013, 05:47 PM
Your best bet is to put everything on the hub and forget about it.
that is exactly what I want! better cabling management. Caldigit now is just opening up a waiting list! let see how soon we all can get this toy!
http://www.caldigit.com/register/waitlist.asp?PID=CalDigit%20Thunderbolt%20Station

Richdmoore
Apr 18, 2013, 07:37 PM
that is exactly what I want! better cabling management. Caldigit now is just opening up a waiting list! let see how soon we all can get this toy!
http://www.caldigit.com/register/waitlist.asp?PID=CalDigit%20Thunderbolt%20Station

Thanks for the link. Need to save up now for this upgrade.

carestudio
Apr 19, 2013, 04:37 PM
that is exactly what I want! better cabling management. Caldigit now is just opening up a waiting list! let see how soon we all can get this toy!
http://www.caldigit.com/register/waitlist.asp?PID=CalDigit%20Thunderbolt%20Station

I'm in :)

Crimson Hikari
Apr 21, 2013, 10:39 AM
I was hugely intrigued by this as it appeared to be the first of the many thunderbolt docks that could do dual video out… via one of the two thunderbolt ports, the other over HDMI. Unfortunately, it does not unless one of the display is a native thunderbolt display (ie: an Apple display). If you have two DVI or HDMI monitors hooked up, you'll only get a display on the HDMI one according to the CalDigit rep. I reached out the vendor for a demo unit when available and this was the exchange:

Okay, thanks for the explanation. We would still be very interested in a demo unit when one is available. My shipping address is in my original email.

Thanks,
-----
<redacted>
Linux/UNIX Systems Administrator
Office: <redacted>
Mobile: <redacted>

On Apr 17, 2013, at 3:45 PM, <redacted> <<redacted>@caldigit.com>
wrote:

You can use a HDMI or DVI monitor using a thunderbolt adaptor but you won't be able to use an HDMI monitor via the HDMI port on the Thunderbolt Station. It would have to be one or the other. Only a Thunderbolt display would let you use both at the same time.

Best Regards,
<redacted>
CalDigit Inc. | Business Development
Phone: <redacted>
Fax: <redacted>
Skype: <redacted>
Email: <redacted>@caldigit.com

www.caldigit.com


On Apr 17, 2013, at 12:34 PM, <redacted> wrote:

Thank you for your reply. So to be clear, I can run a standard monitor off the HDMI port (and even using an HDMI to DVI or HDMI to VGA adaptor). However, for the thunderbolt port, it must be a thunderbolt equipped monitor (such as an Apple display). I cannot plug a mini-display port to DVI adaptor into it and get video through this as well? In other words, I can't use a HDMI or DVI monitor off the thunderbolt port, correct?
-----
<redacted>
Linux/UNIX Systems Administrator
Office: <redacted>
Mobile: <redacted>

On Apr 17, 2013, at 3:27 PM, <redacted> <<redacted>@caldigit.com<mailto:<redacted>@caldigit.com>> wrote:

Hi <redacted>,

The Thunderbolt Stations are currently not available, we are working on rolling them out as soon as possible. I will make sure to contact you when we have them available. Also, the dual monitor output only works if one of the monitors are a Thunderbolt monitor, not a monitor using a mini display port. If you connect a monitor using a mini display port and a HDMI monitor, only the HDMI monitor will receive the output signal. We are currently testing the hub and will publish more specific details when it becomes available.

Best Regards,
<redacted>
CalDigit Inc. | Business Development
Phone: <redacted>
Fax: <redacted>
Skype: <redacted>
Email: <redacted>@caldigit.com<mailto:<redacted>@caldigit.com>

www.caldigit.com<http://www.caldigit.com/>

On Apr 17, 2013, at 6:45 AM, <redacted> wrote:

I'm a senior member of the IT staff at <redacted> in <redacted>, NC. I am one of the team members responsible for demoing equipment that may eventually be rolled out to our IT staff (over 400 employees) and/or the <redacted> at large (over 15K employees). Specifically, as one of the senior UNIX admins, I test much of the Mac-based equipment we are interested in rolling out to our <redacted> staff. We have well over 500 MacBook Pros that are all the generation immediately prior to the retina MBP. Each has only a single thunderbolt port and no USB 3.0 support. However, most need to drive two monitors as separate displays (not a single, spanned widescreen display) and would benefit from USB 3. Your dock appears to be the only one on the market (or soon to be) that can give us dual video out (via one of the two thunderbolt ports and the HDMI port) to separate displays. I'm curious if its possible for us to get a demo unit to test out for 30-60 days?

Thanks,
-----
<redacted>
Linux/UNIX Systems Administrator
<redacted>
Office: <redacted>
Mobile: <redacted>
Mail: <redacted>
<redacted>

Basically, this means there are still no thunderbolt based docks that do dual video out. Only the USB 3 dock from Kensington appears to… of course that doesn't do you much good if you have an older MBP or other Mac that has a single thunderbolt port, but no USB3. :(

What gets me is that the bandwidth for thunderbolt is better than that of USB 3. So why is it that every thunderbolt dock available only does a single display out but the USB 3 dock from Kensington can do dual?

I'm confused. If I am using a single external monitor, can I use a mini-displayport to displayport cable from the Thunderbolt Port, or am I restricted to using the HDMI out?

I'm not intending to use dual monitors (although that would be useful) but it would be nice to know whether I'll have to swap to using the HDMI in on the monitor.

rGiskard
Apr 21, 2013, 12:50 PM
Nice! This is the first "docking" station that for me has the right mix of expansion and price. Caldigit is known for rock solid PCIe cards so I trust this dock will be free of any flakiness.

My only wish is that a DisplayPort had been used in place of the HDMI port. I believe HDMI is limited in resolution, no? So it's not a good solution for adding a display. Otherwise the ethernet port is welcome and the dock is almost worth it for the USB 3.0 ports alone.

Maybe with the rest of the ports Caldigit was concerned about bandwidth problems with a DisplayPort. If so, I hope they plan an update when the next iteration of Thunderbolt is released which doubles its bandwidth.

HenryAZ
Apr 21, 2013, 04:03 PM
I'm confused. If I am using a single external monitor, can I use a mini-displayport to displayport cable from the Thunderbolt Port, or am I restricted to using the HDMI out?

I'm not intending to use dual monitors (although that would be useful) but it would be nice to know whether I'll have to swap to using the HDMI in on the monitor.

I posed this question to their tech support team, namely using the tail end of the Thunderbolt daisy chain as mini-DisplayPort out. Their reply:

"Our Testing monitor is the Dell U3011 with a generic DP to mDP adapter
(resolution @ 2560x1600).

Everything tests fine."

Crimson Hikari
Apr 21, 2013, 05:18 PM
I posed this question to their tech support team, namely using the tail end of the Thunderbolt daisy chain as mini-DisplayPort out. Their reply:

"Our Testing monitor is the Dell U3011 with a generic DP to mDP adapter
(resolution @ 2560x1600).

Everything tests fine."

Brilliant, thanks for the info! I've got an Asus PB238Q, really nice monitor, but my XBox is taking up the HDMI. I would have had to keep swapping them over or get a switcher otherwise.

HenryAZ
Apr 22, 2013, 08:10 PM
Looking more closely at the specs for this device and the Sonnet dock as well, both spec OS X 10.8.x as a requirement. That's a big disappointment for me, running 10.7.5 on a 2011 Mac Mini. Lion was the mainstream OS when Thunderbolt ports were introduced. I wonder what about these basic hardware docks requires the higher OS level?

theluggage
Apr 23, 2013, 11:40 AM
I wonder what about these basic hardware docks requires the higher OS level?

USB3, I suspect.

carestudio
Apr 23, 2013, 12:42 PM
USB3, I suspect.

I have been using caldigit usb3 cards for years so it should have no problem to support 10.7.

HenryAZ
Apr 23, 2013, 03:41 PM
USB3, I suspect.


That's what I finally decided, too. The Matrox dock also requires 10.8.x. I have a question in to Sonnet and CalDigit asking about it, but no replies yet.

There is an xHCI kext on 10.7.5, but obviously it does not support USB 3.0 without some other help. You can put in the Sonnet USB 3.0 Express Card and nothing happens (of course Sonnet says as much). CalDigit's USB 3.0 Express Card does work on 10.7.5 with their own drivers, so one would think their dock would also benefit from the same drivers.

=========================
Edited to add the reply from CalDigit:

Dear customer,

The Thunderbolt stations is using the OS built-in drivers, which the OSX
10.8 holds some of the required drivers for the Thunderbolt station.

If these drivers become available on the 10.7.6, then the thunderbolt
station will be available for the OSX 10.7 as well.

ipmasta
Apr 25, 2013, 10:46 PM
Dumb question if you have a Mac with thunderbolt but only USB 2 can you get USB 3 speeds if you connect a USB3 device to one of these hubs?

As far as I can tell this should allow you to get usb 3.0 speeds with this hub. I have a mac mini with usb 2.0 but a thunderbolt port and thunderbolt is a lot faster than usb 3.0. Now will it be as fast as a built in usb 3.0 port- im not sure but I think that its safe to say you can connect a usb3 device and it work at usb 3 speeds. If anyone knows more about this feel free to contribute - thats my 2 cents I want one of these for my mac mini server.

Trubbles
Apr 28, 2013, 09:10 AM
what are these used for i don't understand you can get a thunderbolt to hdmi adapter and and u can get a usb 3.0 hub

I come home from work every day, and I hook my laptop up to:

- Power
- USB 3.0 HD
- USB mouse
- HDMI-out to monitor

As it is, I'm usually too lazy to hook up my second monitor and just leave the laptop open. I also don't have an USB ports available, so when I want to plug in my iPhone or some other random device I have to choose between undocking and unplugging my external HD (which is actually 3 drives that need to be "ejected") or unplugging my house and using the touchpad.

With a dock, it would be more like:

- Power
- Dock

Done.

This might sound trivial, but I do this every single day, except the weekend. I would love to get everything configured *just so* and then plug in two cables and be done with it. It wasn't worth $299 to me, but for $199 I'm very tempted :)

phoenixsan
Apr 28, 2013, 08:22 PM
the idea and want to see more Thunderbolt capable hardware. TB sounds like a promising tech, but right now, lower price tags are need to drive in purchases of new technology.

If prices become affordable, can be a good chance for TB to take off....


:):apple:

maxosx
Apr 28, 2013, 08:24 PM
Why are all these hubs so expensive? (I don't mean this as a criticism as there may be a good reason - I'm simply curious)
A_P_P_L_E (and the vendors) know they can get you to pay it.

Richdmoore
May 1, 2013, 12:22 AM
I was looking at the specs for the belkin thunderbolt dock in their web site, it says that the USB is 2.5 only. (I believe that is 1/2 normal USB 3.0 speed.)

I really hope that it is not a limitation on this dock as well, as I only really need the USB portion to upgrade my 2011 iMac. (The iMac includes all the other ports, but USB 2.0 only.)

carestudio
May 1, 2013, 01:02 PM
I was looking at the specs for the belkin thunderbolt dock in their web site, it says that the USB is 2.5 only. (I believe that is 1/2 normal USB 3.0 speed.)

I really hope that it is not a limitation on this dock as well, as I only really need the USB portion to upgrade my 2011 iMac. (The iMac includes all the other ports, but USB 2.0 only.)
read the comments from the show here
http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/caldigit/thunderbolt-station/index.asp?C=1
its more than 2.5Gbs from caldigit's dock, so, it might be slightly better than belkin's u3.

guaAm
Jun 9, 2013, 04:29 AM
can anyone tell me when will they release this baby?

carestudio
Jun 10, 2013, 02:16 AM
can anyone tell me when will they release this baby?

Intel was showing off caldigit's thunderbolt station dock last week at trade show. It was a live demo with all the thunderbolt devices connecting together, including blackmagic's, promise's, and caldigit's Thuderbolt station (in the first device) and a usb flash drive and hdmi monitor connecting to caldigit's
http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/caldigit/thunderbolt-station/index.asp?C=3

live demo to capture video.
so does that mean caldigit will be shipping soon? everybody is awaiting!!!!

bigwig
Jun 10, 2013, 03:59 PM
Not much need for this if you have an ACD. The ACD stupidly doesn't have USB3 yet, though.

jrm27
Jun 11, 2013, 03:42 PM
Intel was showing off caldigit's thunderbolt station dock last week at trade show. It was a live demo with all the thunderbolt devices connecting together, including blackmagic's, promise's, and caldigit's Thuderbolt station (in the first device) and a usb flash drive and hdmi monitor connecting to caldigit's
http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/caldigit/thunderbolt-station/index.asp?C=3

live demo to capture video.
so does that mean caldigit will be shipping soon? everybody is awaiting!!!!

I hope so.... I need something bad, and I need it soon. This is a cheaper way to restore usb3 capability to my mbp, now that my USB ports are toast. I dont want to necessarily get the belkin dock, but as it is the only one available at the moment, I may have to.

DrStern
Jun 12, 2013, 12:59 PM
you need the thunderbolt exp box like this
http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/expansion/


Sorry, but I just saw this. If this is for real, it could be just the thing. Thanks!

carestudio
Jun 21, 2013, 06:37 PM
Sorry, but I just saw this. If this is for real, it could be just the thing. Thanks!

It's for real :)

Rgator
Jun 27, 2013, 01:12 AM
I have not had the opportunity to try any of these new Thunderbolt docks, but I have gone through two Apple brand Thunderbolt to FireWire adaptors and they both have failed me! I am thinking that all of these new units will be having the same darn problems as I am seeing here with the adaptors.

Has any real testing been done as far a pro use before releasing them? Seems the Apple branded adaptor can not handle a large FireWire daisy chain, which causes all kinds of hell on the Mac.

My daisy chain consists of NewerTech and DatOptics enclosures holding a total of 15 drives and more than 22 TB.

I have Apple apps like iTunes and Mail not be able to run together and then not be able to Force Quit. Eventually I have to force shutdown! The Finder constantly hangs and won’t relaunch and another force shutdown. I have to do this about twice an hour when my daisy chain is connected.

Two days ago my main 2 TB drive, 2 partition disappeared and when it came back, it was looking to be reformatted and was one empty partition!

This daisy chain has been working very smoothly for several years and still works great on my older MBP.

So if you are wanting to use one of these new docks to connect your FireWire daisy chain, beware! Find out if it will actually work as you need it to before you buy! If any of this units can clear the problem, I will buy it immediately!

Any manufacturers out there reading this?

Any answers, ideas, solutions, comments?

carestudio
Jun 28, 2013, 06:19 PM
I have not had the opportunity to try any of these new Thunderbolt docks, but I have gone through two Apple brand Thunderbolt to FireWire adaptors and they both have failed me! I am thinking that all of these new units will be having the same darn problems as I am seeing here with the adaptors.

Has any real testing been done as far a pro use before releasing them? Seems the Apple branded adaptor can not handle a large FireWire daisy chain, which causes all kinds of hell on the Mac.

My daisy chain consists of NewerTech and DatOptics enclosures holding a total of 15 drives and more than 22 TB.

I have Apple apps like iTunes and Mail not be able to run together and then not be able to Force Quit. Eventually I have to force shutdown! The Finder constantly hangs and won’t relaunch and another force shutdown. I have to do this about twice an hour when my daisy chain is connected.

Two days ago my main 2 TB drive, 2 partition disappeared and when it came back, it was looking to be reformatted and was one empty partition!

This daisy chain has been working very smoothly for several years and still works great on my older MBP.

So if you are wanting to use one of these new docks to connect your FireWire daisy chain, beware! Find out if it will actually work as you need it to before you buy! If any of this units can clear the problem, I will buy it immediately!

Any manufacturers out there reading this?

Any answers, ideas, solutions, comments?

I dont know if apple would expect the intensive usage of such FireWire to Thunderbolt adapter, it's just a solution Apple provide to continue the support of old FireWire users, in the meantime they kinda enforce people to use Thunderbolt or USB3, look at the new macpro, no firewire.

twoodcc
Jun 28, 2013, 08:24 PM
choice is good.

adeon
Jul 8, 2013, 02:16 PM
According to Caldigit on Twitter the Thunderbolt Station can do an HDMI Display + a thunderbolt Display.


If that's the case, I wonder if can you do 6 of these stations and 6 displays + a Thunderbold Display?
:eek:

carestudio
Jul 9, 2013, 04:34 PM
According to Caldigit on Twitter the Thunderbolt Station can do an HDMI Display + a thunderbolt Display.


If that's the case, I wonder if can you do 6 of these stations and 6 displays + a Thunderbold Display?
:eek:

just a side notes, apple claim their new macpro can do 6 displays, the GPU is probably power enough to drive 6 in the new MacPro but not in the old ones.

anthony11
Jul 9, 2013, 07:07 PM
No Firewire port. That would rule it out for me, as I have too much investment in Firewire peripherals, and I wouldn't want to tie up the Thunderbolt daisy chain port with an Apple Firewire adapter.

This is especially notable given the claim "CalDigit makes a number of high-end storage enclosures and expansion cards for audio and video professionals"

A/V pros are especially likely to need FW. Stuff is progressively moving to USB (bleah), but it'll be a few years yet before FW can legitimately be considered legacy.

Were I to drop $200 or whatever on one of things things to get the various interfaces that are missing on my MBPr, I'd really expect it to have all of them. Heck, throw in a CF slot too.

paulrbeers
Jul 9, 2013, 07:24 PM
According to Caldigit on Twitter the Thunderbolt Station can do an HDMI Display + a thunderbolt Display.


If that's the case, I wonder if can you do 6 of these stations and 6 displays + a Thunderbold Display?
:eek:

Since Thunderbolt currently only carries two video signals, I really doubt it.

phrehdd
Jul 10, 2013, 12:57 AM
CallDigit like a few others, have a decent reputation for bringing quality items to the consumer. My only dislike is the fact that all of these items (of similar nature) cost over 100 dollars. This is not their fault but rather, the advent of Apple pushing out a product to boast speed claims that is really not designed for the typical consumer. When a cable costs 35-50 dollars just to connect TB devices, we have a real problem here as compared to USB 3 which, while slower, is pennies on the dollar compared to TB.

Like others who are moderately to heavily invested in Mac equipment, I'll be in that group of those looking to get that TB panacea via a "station" of sorts. This product is on my short list. Meanwhile, I'll still recommend for my friends to go the USB 3 route for now as it will fit most of their home/hobby/small office needs along with small network storage.

carestudio
Jul 10, 2013, 02:57 AM
CallDigit like a few others, have a decent reputation for bringing quality items to the consumer. My only dislike is the fact that all of these items (of similar nature) cost over 100 dollars. This is not their fault but rather, the advent of Apple pushing out a product to boast speed claims that is really not designed for the typical consumer. When a cable costs 35-50 dollars just to connect TB devices, we have a real problem here as compared to USB 3 which, while slower, is pennies on the dollar compared to TB.

Like others who are moderately to heavily invested in Mac equipment, I'll be in that group of those looking to get that TB panacea via a "station" of sorts. This product is on my short list. Meanwhile, I'll still recommend for my friends to go the USB 3 route for now as it will fit most of their home/hobby/small office needs along with small network storage.

look at what apple has on their new mac pro.

http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/Apple/New-Mac-Pro/index.asp

It is nothing but usb3 .... AND 6 Thunderbolt ports! Wowowow, it shows the determination how Apple wants to push their thunderbolt technology out the door. It has its advantage over USB3. I hope the new Thunderbolt2 can come down the price a bit especially on the cable part.

phrehdd
Jul 10, 2013, 02:10 PM
look at what apple has on their new mac pro.

http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/Apple/New-Mac-Pro/index.asp

It is nothing but usb3 .... AND 6 Thunderbolt ports! Wowowow, it shows the determination how Apple wants to push their thunderbolt technology out the door. It has its advantage over USB3. I hope the new Thunderbolt2 can come down the price a bit especially on the cable part.

I have no issues with the Mac (Mini) Pro and all its ports. Most people on the other hand wont be getting a the new MP. Most people wont/can't afford to jump on the TB band wagon for at least another year or two until prices drop significantly. If you recall, TB has been out for a while and only now are we seeing some 3rd party love that never came from Apple when they released TB on some of their models.

Btw, high probability I will get the new Mac (mini) Pro as the next logical step to my Mac Mini. I have had an early MP that was in many respects a dead end as it was on the older bus system (1.2?).

carestudio
Jul 15, 2013, 02:36 PM
I have no issues with the Mac (Mini) Pro and all its ports. Most people on the other hand wont be getting a the new MP. Most people wont/can't afford to jump on the TB band wagon for at least another year or two until prices drop significantly. If you recall, TB has been out for a while and only now are we seeing some 3rd party love that never came from Apple when they released TB on some of their models.

Btw, high probability I will get the new Mac (mini) Pro as the next logical step to my Mac Mini. I have had an early MP that was in many respects a dead end as it was on the older bus system (1.2?).

The only downside for the new MacPro is the limited to Thunderbolt which is PCIe Generation 2? a lot of new PC logicboards now are using Generation 3.

phrehdd
Jul 15, 2013, 05:41 PM
The only downside for the new MacPro is the limited to Thunderbolt which is PCIe Generation 2? a lot of new PC logicboards now are using Generation 3.

Please fill us in on where you found out about a 'generation 3' of TB. Also, which motherboard makers? Best I can see, including searches on Internet is that TB generation 2 is the latest version.

John Kotches
Jul 16, 2013, 09:25 AM
Please fill us in on where you found out about a 'generation 3' of TB. Also, which motherboard makers? Best I can see, including searches on Internet is that TB generation 2 is the latest version.

You misread the post.

Existing TB encapsulates PCIe 2.0 and Displayport.

I don't know if TB2 ups the ante to PCIe 3.0 or not. I haven't read the specifications yet.

phrehdd
Jul 16, 2013, 12:47 PM
You misread the post.

Existing TB encapsulates PCIe 2.0 and Displayport.

I don't know if TB2 ups the ante to PCIe 3.0 or not. I haven't read the specifications yet.

My mistake and yes, I did misread your post. We concur about the 3.0 for the bus if Apple is remaining 2.x.

carestudio
Jul 17, 2013, 04:38 PM
My mistake and yes, I did misread your post. We concur about the 3.0 for the bus if Apple is remaining 2.x.

only if intel can come up with thunderbolt with pcie generation 3.0 support.

John Kotches
Jul 17, 2013, 04:42 PM
only if intel can come up with thunderbolt with pcie generation 3.0 support.

Might that be the reason for TB2 with bonded channels and a 20GB bandwidth?

Dunno, but it would actually make some sense.

carestudio
Jul 19, 2013, 03:05 PM
Might that be the reason for TB2 with bonded channels and a 20GB bandwidth?

Dunno, but it would actually make some sense.


20Gb is PCIe Generation 2 by 8 lanes.
which is Generation 3 by 4 lanes I think. You obviously will not take advantage of over 8-lanes from thunderbolt2.

back to Caldigit station, it says 10Gb, how could one use three USB 3.0 , 5Gb speed? do they share all 10Gb from 3x 5Gb? Belkin one can only support 2.5G USB3, dont know why it is capped like that.

John Kotches
Jul 19, 2013, 03:24 PM
20Gb is PCIe Generation 2 by 8 lanes.
which is Generation 3 by 4 lanes I think. You obviously will not take advantage of over 8-lanes from thunderbolt2.

How much video data is actually passing on the bus from CPU to GFX? How much is being passed from Gfx to Display which is a different bus? That matters a bit in the equation. Not my area of expertise, so I'm not asking a question I know the answer to already.

back to Caldigit station, it says 10Gb, how could one use three USB 3.0 , 5Gb speed? do they share all 10Gb from 3x 5Gb? Belkin one can only support 2.5G USB3, dont know why it is capped like that.

What makes the most sense to me is an implementation equivalent to a hub rather than 5 Gbit/second/port.

Macspectation
Jul 25, 2013, 01:11 AM
If you are a user of the 24inch or 27inch Apple Cinema Display which does not have thunderbolt ports on the back, there is still NO option for you to use your monitor AND at the same time, connect a thunderbolt peripheral device that does not have the port duplicated. These displays use the mini display port connector which will use one port on the hub, the other port will connect the hub to your MacBook Pro/Air.

Think about adding a video encoding/recording device from matrox or blackmagic design and you are stuck! Yes even the latest www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F4U055 Thunderbolt™ Express Dock from Belkin has only TWO ports at the back. Do not be misled by the pictures. That dark receptacle at the front is a groove that cuts through to the back allowing a tidy way to connect the cable to your MacBook Air/Pro.

I am waiting (not sure how long I can wait) for a 3 or 4 port thunderbolt hub!

carestudio
Jul 25, 2013, 04:36 PM
I am waiting (not sure how long I can wait) for a 3 or 4 port thunderbolt hub!

thunderbolt hub? interesting, what do you really need from such hub? the speed is capped to 10Gb anyway.

-LikesMac-
Jul 26, 2013, 02:35 AM
This seems to be one of the best thunderbolt docks yet. Will they make a dock that takes advantage of TB2?

Anyways, I really want to wait for a eGPU Thunderbolt solution, though.



I am waiting (not sure how long I can wait) for a 3 or 4 port thunderbolt hub!

I don't think a Thunderbolt hub would be effective at this point (due to the speed cap that the previous post mentioned). I think we need to see Thunderbolt buffed even further—with boosts like PCIe 3.0 and even more bandwidth—before a 3/4 port Thunderbolt hub would be truly effective.

****************************************************************
Off topic note: I think each version of Thunderbolt should have nicknames, like how each version of OS X has names. :D

theluggage
Jul 26, 2013, 04:42 AM
thunderbolt hub? interesting, what do you really need from such hub? the speed is capped to 10Gb anyway.

2011 MacBook Pros only have one Thunderbolt port, which doubles as the only external display port.

Unless you have an Apple Thunderbolt Display, the display has to be the last device in the chain.

For those of us who normally use our laptops connected to a large external display, that makes any Thunderbolt peripheral without a daisy-chain port about as much use as an inflatable dartboard.

So a hub would be 100% better than the status quo, even if the total speed was capped at 10Gb/s. In many cases it would just be used to connect a display** + one other device.

However, with the Mac Pro having 6xTB, current iMacs and MBPs having 2xTB I doubt that this situation is going to improve.

This seems to be one of the best thunderbolt docks yet. Will they make a dock that takes advantage of TB2?


Not so worried about the dock 'taking advantage' of TB2 - you're not going to saturate TB1 with a 1Gb Ethernet and a couple of USB hard drives hanging off a dock - but the important thing is how TB and TB2 devices play together (I'm sure it will be backwards-compatible, but can TB1 & TB2 be mixed or does a TB1 device pull the whole chain down to TB1?)

Unfortunately, for those of us with 2011 TB Macs these docks are just taking too long to get to market, and the two available (Matrox and Belkin) don't measure up.

**The Caldigit dock does offer a HDMI output which would be a partial solution - allowing you to connect a display and, e.g. a Thunderbolt peripheral. However, I'm waiting with baited breath to see how well this works & whether you can still connect a display device to the second TB port (I don't expect both to work simultaneously, but they need to be able to switch).

MiniDP rather than HDMI would have been better, though - MiniDP-to-everything adapters are widely available and most Mac users already have the ones they need.

carestudio
Aug 1, 2013, 03:14 PM
However, with the Mac Pro having 6xTB, current iMacs and MBPs having 2xTB I doubt that this situation is going to improve.


actually the guy said they are going to be more than 10GB from 6x TB channels.

http://www.thunderbolt4mac.com/Apple/New-Mac-Pro/index.asp?C=0

format6
Aug 5, 2013, 06:59 AM
Any update on when this thing will get to stores?

Jesus Christ, I am going to die of old age before I can buy a suitable dock. :mad:

carestudio
Aug 5, 2013, 11:50 AM
Any update on when this thing will get to stores?

Jesus Christ, I am going to die of old age before I can buy a suitable dock. :mad:

Only God knows. LOL!!! cant wait to see this dock on the market.... millions of people are awaiting....

Richdmoore
Sep 10, 2013, 10:02 AM
I am reserecting this thread a bit, but I received an email last night from Caldiget previewing their dock, with a release date mentioned as soon.

It looks like they are finally ready to start selling the dock.

carestudio
Sep 11, 2013, 05:54 PM
what preview?

John Kotches
Sep 11, 2013, 10:46 PM
what preview?

In the email that wasn't sent to the general public.

wshamp
Sep 12, 2013, 12:02 AM
**The Caldigit dock does offer a HDMI output which would be a partial solution - allowing you to connect a display and, e.g. a Thunderbolt peripheral. However, I'm waiting with baited breath to see how well this works & whether you can still connect a display device to the second TB port (I don't expect both to work simultaneously, but they need to be able to switch).

MiniDP rather than HDMI would have been better, though - MiniDP-to-everything adapters are widely available and most Mac users already have the ones they need.

Hate to burst people's bubble on the dual display but here is the email chain with their support:

Me:
I was wondering if you could answer a question about the dual monitor setup. would this configuration work:

Monitor 1: HDMI output -> monitor
Monitor 2: Thunderbolt output -> thunderbolt to HDMI converter -> monitor

Would the OS see these as two separate desktops (extendable)

Thanks for clearing this up. It seems to be a point of confusion

Caldigit:

Dear customer,

No, it will not work.

Monitor 1: HDMI output > HDMI/DVI Monitor

Monitor 2: Thunderbolt output > Apple Thunderbolt Display
- If you want to use the Thunderbolt to HDMI/DVI converter, then the Thunderbolt station's HDMI port will not provide any signals. Among the station's Thunderbolt/HDMI ports, you can only run one non-Thunderbolt display.

Monitor 3/4/5: it is possible to use an USB3.0 to HDMI/DVI converter

Best regards,

CalDigit - Support

Me:
will the usb 3.0 be at 5.0 Gb/sec ?

Can you explain why the above configuration wouldn't work. Was this a design choice or a thunderbolt hardware constraint? It seems this feature would be greatly appreciated by your customers.

Caldigit:

Dear customer,

Yes, the USB3.0 is at 5.0Gb/sec. We were able to hit 400+MB/s with the SATA6G SSD on those ports (using our AVPro).

As for the monitors configuration, it's a hardware limitation.

Best regards,

CalDigit - Support

theluggage
Sep 13, 2013, 07:01 AM
Hate to burst people's bubble on the dual display but here is the email chain with their support:
...
As for the monitors configuration, it's a hardware limitation.


This isn't Caldigit's fault.

Thunderbolt only gives you 1 display per Thunderbolt peripheral, whether it's a built-in screen (TB display), a HDMI socket on a hub or a legacy DisplayPort device connected to thunderbolt-through.

Caldigit at least offers you a choice between using the HDMI socket *or* an adapter on the TB-out port, which is an improvement on the existing Belkin (no HDMI) and Matrox (HDMIm but not TB-out) hubs, though.

Caldigit --> TB HD or similar with daisychain port --> miniDP adapter --> screen

... might work, though.

carestudio
Sep 16, 2013, 05:57 PM
long waiting but it's only 199, i really cant say NO to this baby :-)

Richdmoore
Sep 20, 2013, 01:08 PM
In the email that wasn't sent to the general public.

I received the preview, all I did was sign up for updates to their products.

I do not work for the press, in the IT industry or anything like that.

John Kotches
Sep 20, 2013, 04:17 PM
I received the preview, all I did was sign up for updates to their products.

I do not work for the press, in the IT industry or anything like that.

It wasn't a dig, but it wasn't sent to the general public either ;-)

By the way, there's nothing wrong with either of those professions. I have made my living at one for a long time.

Richdmoore
Sep 30, 2013, 12:07 PM
This was on Facebook/YouTube this morning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEvPv52in_o&sns=em

Between the email (no idea why others didn't receive it) and the video, I am guessing release is fairly imminent.

Richdmoore
Oct 29, 2013, 10:58 AM
I saw on another macrumors thread that preorder's are now available for a Nov 4th release. I put in my preorder a couple of minutes ago.

http://www.caldigit.com/store.asp

sco
Dec 28, 2013, 07:33 PM
Has anyone tried two Caldigit stations in a chain with one monitor off each dock?

Thanks

sco

mattpr
Feb 20, 2014, 06:58 AM
This would be highly unlikely. We haven't seen Intel release a Thunderbolt controller with more than a single Thunderbolt to DisplayPort sink protocol adapter yet. This means that a Thunderbolt controller can only drive one display directly. However, you can buy DisplayPort to dual HDMI or DVI adapters for around $50 that should work fine as long as your displays aren't more than 1920x1200.


I am currently doing a dual monitor setup with a mini-displayport to DVI-I adapter and a displaylink USB3->dvi adapter.

Displayport is buggy and while I keep hoping it will get better, I am always looking for other options.

Plus using my mac as at the desktop requires plugging in:

- Power
- ethernet
- mini-displayport (to one monitor)
- USB hub
- USB displayport (to second monitor)
- headphones

...lot of wear and tear on my macbook pro's connectors every day (every meeting too).

I was hoping the thunderbolt dock could be a solution (only plug in thunderbolt and power). However I would like to ditch the displayport and still keep dual-monitors.

I understand that one thunderbolt controller can only drive one monitor... what if I buy two docks and daisy chain the second to the first...does that get me two fully-functional HDMI ports?

I suppose if that isn't possible, I could always connect displaylink to the thunderbolt dock to reduce wear on my macbook connectors...but would love to ditch displaylink altogether for a better/more-native dual monitor support...even if that means paying for 2 docks.

I know this is an old thread, sorry!

Bear
Feb 20, 2014, 07:20 AM
...
Displayport is buggy and while I keep hoping it will get better, I am always looking for other options.
...What brand mDP to DVI adapter do you have? You could have a bad adapter.

I'd suggest getting one Thunderbolt dock and make sure it works for you before trying 2. And I suggest you email Caldigit to ask what they think of daisy chaining 2 of their hubs and using the HDMI ports on both.

mattpr
Feb 20, 2014, 07:34 AM
What brand mDP to DVI adapter do you have? You could have a bad adapter.

I have the targus USB3 DVI which is displaylink certified.
Also have used the kensington USB2 DVI which is also displaylink certified.
Have also used a non-certified USB3 DVI displaylink adapter.

With the USB2 adapter it worked okay on Snow Leopard and mountain lion, but you couldn't watch any videos on the monitor...but okay for coding, documentation, etc.

The USB3 adapters can do video but I start getting weird display artifacts (mountain lion and mavericks) after a while that get so bad I can't use the monitor. I have to do a restart because usually un-plugging/re-plugging doesn't solve the issue.

Would love to have a proper HDMI that just works. If displaylink can get there with the stability and performance, then that would be great...but last driver update was in November...so starting to look for other options. High bandwidth dock is appealing because I can reduce the number of things plugged into the mac.

Only missing point is how to get 2 external monitors in the dock scenario. I assume the displaylink adapter will work off the dock USB3 hub...but given the current issues, would love to have 2 hdmi displays coming off the thunderbolt controller without doing the usb/displaylink hack.


I'd suggest getting one Thunderbolt dock and make sure it works for you before trying 2. And I suggest you email Caldigit to ask what they think of daisy chaining 2 of their hubs and using the HDMI ports on both.

Are these docks supported natively by macos (hdmi, ethernet, audio, usb) or do they require special drivers/tweaking to get them going on macos?

Thanks for the advice.

repoman27
Mar 7, 2014, 08:48 AM
I am currently doing a dual monitor setup with a mini-displayport to DVI-I adapter and a displaylink USB3->dvi adapter.

Displayport is buggy and while I keep hoping it will get better, I am always looking for other options.

Plus using my mac as at the desktop requires plugging in:

- Power
- ethernet
- mini-displayport (to one monitor)
- USB hub
- USB displayport (to second monitor)
- headphones

...lot of wear and tear on my macbook pro's connectors every day (every meeting too).

I was hoping the thunderbolt dock could be a solution (only plug in thunderbolt and power). However I would like to ditch the displayport and still keep dual-monitors.

I understand that one thunderbolt controller can only drive one monitor... what if I buy two docks and daisy chain the second to the first...does that get me two fully-functional HDMI ports?

I suppose if that isn't possible, I could always connect displaylink to the thunderbolt dock to reduce wear on my macbook connectors...but would love to ditch displaylink altogether for a better/more-native dual monitor support...even if that means paying for 2 docks.

I know this is an old thread, sorry!

This may be ancient history, but I just saw the quote notification and figured I'd reply.

Two docks chained should work just fine, because you'd then have two Thunderbolt controllers, each of which has a single display output. That seems like it might be the more expensive way to go about it, although probably the most flexible.

The adapters I was referring to were not the USB / DisplayLink variety, but rather the kind that can drive multiple displays from a single DisplayPort signal by presenting several panels as a single large surface to the operating system. For instance, here's one from StarTech (http://www.startech.com/AV/Splitters/DisplayPort/DisplayPort-to-Dual-DVI-Multi-Monitor-Adapter-Male-to-Female-DP-to-2x-DVI-3840x1200~SP122DP2DVI). They also make an HDMI (http://www.startech.com/AV/Splitters/DisplayPort/DisplayPort-to-Dual-HDMI-Multi-Monitor-Adapter-Male-to-Female-DP-to-2x-HDMI-3840x1200~SP122DP2HD) variant for the same price. Both use full-size DisplayPort male connectors, so you'd also need a miniDP male to DP female cable as well, but it would still be less than $100 all-in. Your displays would have to run at the same resolution though. And, I'm not sure if it was a typo on your part, but DisplayPort is solid; it's DP adapters that can be flaky.

Incidentally, StarTech also has a Thunderbolt dock (http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/USB-Docks/Thunderbolt-Laptop-Docking-Station~TBDOCKHDPBC) out now, which I'm surprised MacRumors hasn't reported on yet (or maybe they did and I missed it).

BTW, I have no affiliation to StarTech and I haven't actually used any of these products in particular, so I wouldn't take this as a ringing endorsement of their gear.

edit: Just came across this little gem from Zotac (http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?p=ZT-MDP2HD).

mattpr
Mar 7, 2014, 09:16 AM
Displayport is buggy

And, I'm not sure if it was a typo on your part, but DisplayPort is solid; it's DP adapters that can be flaky.

Yes, typo. I meant DisplayLink is buggy.

Thanks for the tip on the startech adapter. I wasn't aware of that tech and that is quite useful since my 2 external displays are identical 1920x1200 res each and the startech drives that.

I went ahead and got the caldigit dock. Quite happy with it aside from the fact I am still using a displaylink USB adapter.

If I got a second dock I would probably not get a second caldigit but possibly one like the Akitio Thunderbolt Dock (http://www.amazon.com/Akitio-Thunder-Dock-Compatible-Thunderbolt/dp/B00HAVIK5E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394204527&sr=8-1&keywords=Akitio+Thunderbolt+Dock) which would get me the second thunderbolt controller, second external monitor (without displaylink), and also eSATA and firewire 800 ports. Not a big fan of the port layout though (cables coming out all sides).

Second thunderbolt dock is definitely an expensive way to go so I will probably try the startech route first. Only question I have to figure out is whether the startech option looks like one single display or two individual ones.

----------

Only question I have to figure out is whether the startech option looks like one single display or two individual ones.

Looks like the startech device makes the two monitors look like one big external monitor. So macos dock and maximized windows will span both displays. That doesn't work for me. It also appears out of stock most places and the amazon.com reviews aren't very good.

Stuck with DisplayLink or buying a second thunderbolt controller of some sort (or a thunderbolt monitor).

Anyone know of a really cheap thunderbolt controller (e.g. 2 port Hard Drive dock or something?) Everything I have found is expensive enough that I might as well just buy a proper dock, but perhaps someone else has seen something.

Thanks.

theluggage
Mar 7, 2014, 11:42 AM
Incidentally, StarTech also has a Thunderbolt dock (http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/USB-Docks/Thunderbolt-Laptop-Docking-Station~TBDOCKHDPBC) out now, which I'm surprised MacRumors hasn't reported on yet (or maybe they did and I missed it).

Looks awfully like a re-branded version of the Caldigit... if so, its rather good value as it is a smidgin cheaper but comes with a TB cable.

I'm tempted... I really want the Sonnet dock but that's now due in 'Summer 2014'.

gxgrant
Mar 15, 2014, 01:16 AM
i am really hoping this is the case and i can finally power dual monitors. if this is the case, sign me up asap

Has anyone found out if this is doable..I'm interested in doing this too.

mattpr
Apr 6, 2014, 06:28 AM
I meant DisplayLink is buggy.


By the way, the latest DisplayLink driver (2.2 Beta) for Mac solved some of the more major issues I was having on 10.9. It was released Mar 17, so if you haven't gotten it and are hating on your displaylink, it is worth a try.

Still have major flicker/paint issues on the displaylink display under certain circumstances like when chrome dev tools is open on that display.

Also when I re-dock my windows are in strange places now so every morning I have to re-arrange everything...that is annoying and new since I updated the displaylink driver.

But at least in general the displaylink display is usable.